Avatar: The Way of Water

 


After 13 years of waiting, the sequel to the top lifetime grossing movie, James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), finally arrives to theaters this weekend. Avatar: The Way of Water takes places years after the events of the 2009 original. It follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as he works to protect his family and his people by fleeing their forest home and hiding with the sea clans. The Sully family must adapt to a new culture and environment, while their pursuers work to hunt them down.

What follows is The Good, The Bad, and The Spoilers of Avatar: The Way of Water.

The Good

One of the things that was so great about 2009’s Avatar, what the visuals of the planet Pandora. Avatar: The Way of Water checks all those same boxes and goes beyond. This movie is simply beautiful to watch. It is remarkable how Cameron not only shows us a new area of Pandora, but truly gives the audience a look at a developed and vibrant ecosystem.

 I particularly enjoyed how the ocean Na’vi are presented. While they are still Na’vi, they have a different relationship with nature than the jungle Na’vi. Sully and his family struggle to adapt to how things are done in the same ways that someone would if they were forced to move to a completely different country. It makes these struggles feel relatable, even if you have never had to learn to ride a sea beast.

The Bad

Avatar: The Way of Water has a runtime of 3 hours and 10 minutes. While this isn’t a bad thing at all, the problem is that if feels like audiences have a ton thrown at them throughout that entire time. There are so many characters in this movie, that you find yourself struggling to even remember if you heard a character’s name. There is also an attempt to develop some of the new characters, like Kiri, but I was left feeling like there was not enough time.

Another problem I had with this movie was the villain. In Avatar: The Way of Water, Sully is once again pitted against Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) in an Avatar body. The beginning of the movie quickly explains how this is possible, and it makes sense, but felt repetitive. Had Cameron kept everything the same, but simply made it a new character in an Avatar hunting Jake Sully, I feel it would have been better. Now using the colonel will probably have bigger impacts on future movies as he is not the same exact person he was before.

My Overall Opinion

Avatar: The Way of Water brought me right back to sitting in the theater back in 2009 and seeing Pandora for the first time. Gorgeous views and entertaining story make this as much a must-see movie as its predecessor. I myself plan to see it again soon and would highly recommend seeing it in 3D, on the biggest screen possible.

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